“I will now launch a massive campaign for our party leader Raila Odinga in his quest for the presidency,” Mr Abuor told the Nation.

“We will crisscross the constituency and the county to ensure a massive turnout in the August 8 elections to guarantee Raila the presidency.”

During the senatorial by-election in Homa Bay in 2015 following the death of Senator Otieno Kajwang’ in November of the previous year, a group of MPs in the county broke ranks with ODM.

They opted to support Maendeleo Democratic Party candidate Philip Okundi against the late senator’s brother Moses Kajwang’, who was the party leadership’s choice.

Mr Kajwang’ eventually triumphed.

Termed rebels by their colleagues, the MPs cited many reasons — among them “shambolic” nominations through which the party was “fond” of imposing unpopular candidates on the electorate.

Mr Oner and his Karachuonyo colleague James Rege openly supported Mr Okundi’s candidature while Ms Millie Odhiambo (Suba North) and Mr Neto were non-partisan.

Save for Mr Rege, who had decamped to the ruling Jubilee Party, and Ms Odhiambo, who won in controversial circumstances, the rest of the MPs lost in the recent ODM primaries.

Mr Osele lost to Ms Eve Obara, a political greenhorn, in a disputed contest.

Mr Rege recently told the Nation that he will not vie for the Karachuonyo seat but will instead campaign for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.

“I will not seek re-election because of my task to head a team seeking votes for the Jubilee Party in western and Nyanza regions,” Mr Rege said.

The loss of the former ‘rebels’ has been considered by some residents as a disciplinary measure against disloyalty to the party, which is the dominant one in the region.

Mr George Okiki, a political commentator in the county, argues that ODM has never been tolerant to divergent views within its ranks.

“ODM party is known for not tolerating divergent views from its disgruntled party members. This is the reason why its independent-minded members lost in the primaries.”

Mr Okiki argues that loyal MPs and governors were rewarded with tickets despite protests by voters against the decision.

After unsuccessfully challenging the results, Mr Oner, Mr Neto and Mr Osele have all vowed to unseat the ODM ticket “winners” in August through independent candidacy.

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